Dear family and friends,
Well, here we are at the end of 2020. Boy, was 2020 an eventful year!
We started the year with Joshua coming back from Discipleship school at YWAM in Taiwan. He spent 5 months total, learning and serving. We were so thankful to see his desire to go and deepen his walk with his Lord.
In February, we organized an evangelistic concert with Skip Tanaka, and were also continuing with our Friday night outreach activities in the community, where people would come to enjoy a time of fellowship, with music, games and snacks and a presentation of the Gospel.
The kids were being homeschooled and Fabio continued to commute to Shinjuku for his Japanese classes. Then Covid-19 happened in Japan… and shut down everything. At church, we assisted in setting up an online broadcasting system. We also continued to help with other practical needs and construction related projects.
By this time, Elizabeth was nearly due. Due to Covid-19, our midwife was unable to come, so we ended up having Serenity in our bathtub on March 27, by ourselves. Thankfully, it was a beautiful and peaceful experience and everything went well.
Three days later, we admitted Serenity to the hospital because of jaundice. Long story short, the doctors eventually discovered a rare liver disease that affects 1 in every 10,000-15,000 babies: Biliary Atresia. Our baby was born without bile ducts or a gallbladder. So on May 7th, she underwent a major surgery to fix that condition, although in most cases, sooner or later the child will require a liver transplant. In Serenity’s case, it was “sooner”. Making a very long story short, on October 8th, at 6 moths old, Serenity received a liver transplant, and Fabio was the donor. Now Fabio and Serenity are both recovering nicely. Serenity is finally home but being monitored closely.
Fabio is now back to language school, via Zoom. Israel (14) and Olivia (8) began again in June to go to the local public school. Dominique (16), Johann (12) and Annaliese (6) study at home, and Dominique also works part time at Paz Coffee Shop – a coffee shop started by some missionary friends’ church in the area. Joshua (18) has been working at a moving company three days a week. He is saving to go to YWAM South Africa in February 2021, to take a Bible course for 9 months.
While Covid has negatively affected ministry opportunities, we have noticed that churches in Japan that used to be very reserved and “nonexistent” online, have stepped out to produce content for all to see. So this year, we also set up a Youtube channel to provide worship songs and teaching to not only reach the lost but also to provide resources for the many small churches in Japan. We also continue to produce online content for the ministry we still conduct in Brazil which continues to reach people nationwide.
And one of the most awesome ministry opportunities we were gifted with this year were the many, many divine appointments we had in the hospital with many doctors, nurses, and other mothers. We continue to stay in touch with many of them and pray for them daily.
Due both to Covid and Serenity’s health journey, we postponed our move to Nagasaki for church planting. We do not have a definite date for the move, but in the meantime, we continue to pray and plan and anticipate what God will still do there! In His timing!
In spite of this year’s challenges, we have been encouraged, inspired and challenged to be obedient to His voice and walk by faith. We pray, we seek out people, we share the Gospel in different contexts. We live with a constant expectancy of opportunities to share the love of Jesus.
We know that souls are at stake and most of these people have not even heard the message of the cross – even once.
When we see recent news reporting that there have been more suicides in Japan just this past October than deaths caused by the whole year of Coronavirus, we sense the urgency of speaking the Good News to a people that is drowning in hopelessness.
That’s why we write to you. We know that you are a Kingdom person and that you already invest in Kingdom expansion in one way or another.
Do you love to pray for missions? Please consider praying regularly for our family, that we would have opportunities and boldness to proclaim the Gospel with clarity and power. Besides our “public” challenges, we have also faced spiritual battles that we wouldn’t post online. We covet your prayers.
Are you not yet on our giving team? We want to invite you into this amazing adventure with us. We are a bit short on our monthly budget. So, whether it is an end of the year gift, or a regular gift of even as low as $10 per month, you are welcome on board and we are sure that it will be a blessing not only to us but to you as well. This is what we have learned from a dear friend and have diligently practiced: “You can never outgive God, but it’s fun to try!” 😀
Would you or your business like to give towards missions and still get a tax break? We work through a mission organization (JEMS) and we are accountable to them. You are free to contact Roy at JEMS if you would like to know about our numbers and needs. All your financial support is tax deductible. Contact JEMS at (213) 613-0022
Do you know people that have served, are serving or would like to serve in Japan? Are you gifted in drawing people for a cause and/or recruiting supporters? Then we need you too!
Make a connection with us! We believe in the importance of networking with other servants for mutual encouragement and support.
Thank you for accompanying our journey.
For the Kingdom,
Fabio and Elizabeth
Joshua, Dominique, Israel, Johann, Olivia, Annaliese and Serenity
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. (Gal 6:9). What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all —how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? (Rom 8:31,32)
IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PARTNER WITH US OR INCREASE YOUR GIVING:
Starting the year with a great concert. Skip Tanaka from Tennessee, sharing his testimony and God’s love in Japan.
Our baby was born on March 27th
Three days after birth she was being admitted and a long journey began…
In the summer we still enjoyed time with friends and new brother in the Lord. Hallelujah!
A transplant surgery was done but it did not stop her smile!
Discipleship online: “It’s the first time I read the Bible and understand it!” – We love to hear that.
Finally we were able to get a family picture. All 9 together. Thank you Jesus!